Andrew Carnegie Middle School

Letter to Parents “What is AVID?”

Dear Parents/Guardians:  

           Your child is eligible for AVID, a program dedicated to helping students achieve their goals of going to college.  Students considered for AVID are bright students who might be under-achieving, underserved in the college system, or first generation college students.  The AVID class is held within the regular school day, provides support, academic monitoring, and tutoring.  The writing process, Socratic questioning, collaborative learning, and reading are the core strategies of the program. 

What is required of an AVID Student? 

            Each AVID student carries a binder in which he or she is required to keep materials from all academic classes.  Students keep track of assignments on assignment sheets and are required to take DAILY notes in all academic classes.  The notebooks are graded weekly for content and organization by college tutors.   Led by tutors, students participate in tutorial groups in the AVID classroom.  In addition, students are taught study skills, test preparation, time management, and the writing process.  Teachers fill out periodic progress reports, in addition to routine school ones, for monitoring by the AVID teacher/ coordinator.

Who are the AVID Tutors, and what do they do?

            AVID tutors are college students who receive training in methodologies used in AVID: writing process, Socratic questioning, collaborative learning, and reading.  They are in the classroom weekly to serve as models and to help students achieve success in rigorous classes.   They are trained not to give students answers but rather to guide them toward their own answers.  They may even ask permission to “shadow” students in their classes to help them learn how to take notes more effectively. 

What Can Parents do to Support AVID Students?

            Communication between the AVID teacher and the parent(s) or guardians is essential.  I will contact you to share your student’s progress and appreciate any information you share with me.  At home, parents can see to it that students are doing their homework in a quiet place with few interruptions.  By asking your student about his/her day, and inquiring about homework and the events of school, you will bridge what could be a great gap between his/her school life and home life.  When the two are connected, successes increase.  In addition, stressing your belief that your student can succeed in middle and high school and attend college will also motivate him/her to work harder and achieve more.  Throughout the year I will host several Parent/Family Workshops, which will address topics of concern relating to student success in middle and high school and college applications, scholarships, and admission.

Thank you very much for all your support!  I am looking forward to working with you this year.


Ismael Ortiz

AVID Coordinator